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Volume 26 ISSUE 12

Thoughts of Christmas from the Co-Founder & Staff of Jesus is the Way Jesus is the reason for the season. God is so good. During the past few weeks at Jesus Is the Way we have had several men to graduate our 10 month program and I praise God for each of them. The ministry was started to reach the lost for Christ and it continues to do so all of these years later. I want to thank each and every one who has helped in any way (prayer, financial contributions, donations of time, food, clothing, labor, etc.) to keep Jesus Is the Way in full operation. I send the following scripture to all of you because you have served Jesus by following him to help us. John 12:26 (KJV) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

-Edith Christmas is especially meaningful for me this year as I work at the ministry and am reminded of how God is continually faithful and has truly blessed my life. When I reflect and see God has good plans for me such as having 2 healthy children and this year being blessed with a wonderful and loving husband; it gives me hope that God also has great things in store for our residents. I see our residents making choices to honor God, share their testimonies and give back to the community through acts of service. When my focus gets on materialistic agendas like SHOPPING, my nativity scene in my office keeps me grounded that the gift I need to focus on is the birth of Jesus Christ my Savior. My baby Jesus is not in the manger yet as it is tradition in my family that the baby doesn’t appear until Christmas morning and you must see the baby and be thankful first before opening your gifts; it is a tradition my husband Jerry and I will continue. So thankful for the everlasting gift of Jesus Christ.


During Christmas, I often think of my parents, who died long ago, and how special they made the holiday season for my sister and I. Every Christmas, when I am with my wife Kathy and my son Jake, I often think of those special days back when I was a child and it always brings a special smile to my face. My sister was born on Christmas day, so it is an extra special day for her and her family. Two years ago I located my birth mother, Lucille, and discovered that I have two full brothers, two half sisters, and three half brothers. They have really gone out of their way to make me a part of their family as well. For me, Christmas is a time to be with my family and I realize what a lucky man I truly am to have them in my life. I hope that our residents will experience the same happiness I have enjoyed with my family.

-Dr. Peter Patton Thank you Jesus is the Way for blessing me, by allowing me to work alongside a great group of people: Vicki, my mom, Nancy, Dennis, Peter, Larry, Scott, John, Lawyer, Lloyd and each and every volunteer. I enjoy being in the office; having the opportunity to help people in need when they call or come in here. I especially enjoy this time of year; working during the Miracle of Christmas, getting to see all the little children’s faces as they receive the gifts and most importantly as they receive LOVE through the volunteers that minister to them. I pray that God continues to bless JITW and each person reading this. Have a BLESSED CHRISTMAS! Love Ya,

-Brenda (continued on page 2)

Thoughts of Christmas from the Staff of Jesus is the Way (continued from page 1) I love CHRISTmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ and a season of giving. The best gift ever, was and is the gift of Jesus Christ my Savior! What an honor and privilege to be a part of the family of Jesus is the Way where we are able to be the extended arms of Jesus by giving to the residents here at JITW or those who are incarcerated, not only at Christmas but all year long, and also the great joy of seeing the children of inmates receive toys, and for them and their guardians to hear the story of Christmas and have an opportunity to receive the greatest gift of all, Jesus! I am truly blessed! Thank you and may all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

-Vicki After 10 years at the ministry, Christmas has always been a reminder of a special gift given. In jail when we hand out the sign-up sheets for toys for their children the men are amazed that JITW fills the gap to bless their children. Then to see the children light up when they receive toys and Jesus is the highlight of the day and they know that their daddy is thinking about them. Love is the special gift given that I see Jesus is the Way giving. I am blessed to be apart of and see Love in action.

-Larry Christmas means a joyful time of year. It makes me think of giving. There is so much joy going on. When Christmas is all about Jesus it makes it easier to celebrate. Being at Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry I know what unconditional love (agape) really feels like now.


Christmas is the celebration of the birth of my Savior. This year it is a time to remember the good times of the past and focus on the things I need to get my life straightened out and be thankful to all those that are helping.

-Lloyd I am very blessed to work at JITWPM especially at Christmas! Christmas is a special time of God’s greatest love: the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ and the love for family, friends and for our JITW staff and residents. I have the opportunity to help our residents with their struggles and growth in recovery and relationship with Jesus Christ. Celebrating in the personal victories of our residents: over addictions and Satan brings me the greatest joy! Thank God for JITW, our staff and residents-a close knit family! Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season!

-Scott As a child, Christmas was a time of happiness and receiving many things. Now as an adult, the real meaning of Christmas- peace on earth, goodwill to men through Jesustowers far above my earlier understanding. Jesus gave in many ways while he labored to fulfill His purpose in coming to earth. I’m grateful that He has given me an opportunity to also give in meaningful ways here at the ministry. May God bless you and your family as we labor together anticipating Christ’s triumphant return. May God bless you and your family as we labor together anticipating Christ’ triumphant return.


Thoughts from Residents of Jesus is the Way For me Christmas is the time of year to enjoy the holidays with friends and family gathering together to share presents, wonderful food, and each other’s company. But best of all it’s the time of year to reflect on the wonderful story of the immaculate conception of the blessed Mother Mary and birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s my most favorite time of the year.

The newborn Christ-child became the light of the world and the Lamb of God. Christmas invites us to step out of the shadows of darkness and to allow the light of Christ to shine into our hearts. The birth of Christ also is the answer to our most fervent prayers for love and forgiveness.


Christmas means to me a time of remembrance of the birth of Christ Jesus. It’s a time for caring, caring about others, showing unconditional love. Sharing your time to help those less fortunate and family. Christmas is a time for family, your family, church family and near and dear friends.

I never really had a desire to change my life until now. I applied for treatment for two reasons-first I wanted it to look good on my record and second I really did want to go out into the real world and live clean. By doing that I’m beginning to understand myself. Once things are understood they can be dealt with much more effectively.


Thanksgiving Dinner


-Dustin CHRISTmas: Thankfulness and giving, as Christ gave his life for us.


Praise Report

We received a computer that is even better than what we asked for in last month’s newsletter, and a laptop too! Thank you!

Founders Jesse Mathes/Edith Mathes (1942-2008)


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 25 Champaign, IL

OFFICE: (217) 892-4044 FAX: (217) 892-5995 EMAIL: info@ Executive Director Dennis Daniel Aftercare Director Nancy Roberts

OFFICE HOURS: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday

Prison Services Coordinator John Henderson Grant Writer & Educator Peter Patton Logistics Manager Larry Peak Rantoul Staff Brenda Mathes Krile Vicki Schoonover Board Members Thomas Brown Dennis Daniel John Henderson Rev. Steve Lombardo Edith Mathes Tammie Pruitt Attorney Bill Scott Developer Rob Zabka



Jesus is the Way Prison Ministry December 2013 Newsletter